Thursday, December 08, 2011

High court dismisses Julian Moti’s case

JULIAN Moti, the man who the previous Somare government ejected from Papua New Guinea five years ago, yesterday won a major court victory in Canberra, Australia, against his sex charges, The National reports.
Its highest court, the High Court, has halted child sex charges against the former Solomon Islands attorney-general who holed up at the old Solomon Islands high commission building in Port Moresby in 2006 until he was secretly flown to Gizo where Solomon Islands police and Ramsi helpers arrested him.
The court yesterday found Moti was illegally deported to Australia.
The court directed that further prosecution would be an abuse of process and should be stayed.
Moti, an Australian citizen, served as Solomons attorney-general between September 2006 and December 2007.
He was suspended between October 2006 and July 2007.
In November 2008, he was charged with seven counts of sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl while outside Australia.
All the charges related to one complainant and allegedly occurred in 1997.
Four charges were alleged to have been conducted in Vanuatu and the other three in New Caledonia.
Chief Justice Robert French and five other judges said the central question was whether those charges should be stayed as an abuse of process.
“The appellant was brought to Australia from Solomon Islands without his consent,” he said in the majority decision.
Officials of the Solomon Islands government deported Moti by putting him on an aircraft bound for Brisbane without power to do so.
Because Australian officials played a role in Moti’s deportation, further prosecution of the charges would be an abuse of process, the court found.
However, the judges rejected claims that money paid by Australian authorities to the complainant and her family brought the administration of justice into disrepute.
The Australian Federal Police paid A$67,500 to the girl and A$81,600 to her family between February 2008 and November 2009.
The payments followed claims by the girl and her father that they would not participate in the prosecution unless they were assisted financially. – AAP

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